As far as translations are concerned, Gates of Vienna has an embarrassment of riches. Both H. Numan (our expatriate Dutch correspondent) and VH (our Flemish correspondent) sent us a translation of the newspaper article below about Geert Wilders. Each of them also sent additional material on the same topic.
So this translation from De Telegraaf is an amalgam of work by H. Numan and VH, and both of them deserve our thanks (the rest of the material is credited accordingly). The first article concerns Geert Wilders’ bold move to appeal directly to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands:
Remarkable move by Moszkowicz
Wilders appeals directly to the Supreme Court
AMSTERDAM — Top lawyer Bram Moszkowicz will go immediately to the highest court in the country with the request to stop the prosecution of PVV-leader Geert Wilders
This way Moszkowicz seeks to nullify the warrant by which the Court of Amsterdam ordered the prosecution of Wilders on the grounds of sowing hatred and discrimination. Wilders yesterday enlisted Moszkowicz as his new lawyer, both confirmed to De Telegraaf newspaper.
“Fight the battle rock-hard”
“I have enlisted the best lawyer in the Netherlands to enter the battle rock-hard against the charges that hang over my head,” said Wilders last night.
Moszkowicz will appeal to the Prosecutor General to “nullify the case due to considerations of the law”, which will put the order to prosecute Wilders in the garbage bin.
The criminal lawyer Moszkowicz is making a sensational opening move in this controversial case followed worldwide.
The judges Tom M. Schalken, J.P. Splint and F.A. Hartsuiker of the Amsterdam Court ordered that Wilders must appear before a court of magistrates for sowing hatred and discrimination. According to the three judges of the court, Wilders slanders the dignity of Muslims with his tough statements.
The three judges of the Amsterdam Court also ordered the politician Geert Wilders to stand trial for insulting Muslim believers as a group, because he dubbed the Koran ‘the Islamic Mein Kampf’.
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However, by this appeal to nullify “due to considerations of the law”, the order of the Court of Amsterdam is wiped off the table. In an earlier case involving the former military leader of Surinam, Dési Bouterse, the Supreme Court ruled the same for his part in the December-murders [during the coup d’état by the military in Surinam in 1981]. The Supreme Court nullified the case, as the Netherlands does not have jurisdiction over Surinam. In this case Mr. Moszkowicz was also involved.
The second article, also from De Telegraaf, was translated by H. Numan:
Prosecution of Wilders not halted
AMSTERDAM — The public prosecutor will not halt the investigation for the prosecution of the politician Geert Wilders. The justice department will continue the prosecution, until the Prosecutor General at the Supreme Court makes a decision affecting the case.
The chance that of that happening is minute, according to law professor Ybo Buruma. He doesn’t think Bram Moszkowicz’s course of action has the remotest chance of succeeding. The appeal Moszkowicz is working on is not meant to influence a matter at hand in a court, explains Buruma. “It is not possible at all to appeal to the Supreme Court about the decision of the Court of Amsterdam in the case Wilders.”
Nevertheless, Geert Wilders is attempting an appeal to the Prosecutor General to annul the decision of the Amsterdam court. Earlier the prosecutor rejected the case, but the court decided Wilders must appear before a court for inciting hatred and insulting groups of people.
Wilders is said to be ready for battle and will use every possible means not to have to appear in court. On Tuesday morning he stated he was convinced the prosecutor will not proceed as long as his case is under appeal at the Supreme Court.
A brief report on Geert Wilders’ attorney, as compiled by VH:
Bram (Abraham) Moszkowicz is one of the most famous Dutch lawyers. Together with his father (Max Moszkowicz) and two brothers he is a partner in the Moszkowicz Law Firm in Amsterdam and Maastricht, and has associations with legal firms in Antwerp (Belgium), Aachen (Germany) and Willemstad (Curaçao).
Bram Moszkowicz only recently filed a complaint against Socialist Party MP Harry “intifada” van Bommel and SP MP Sadet Karabulut. He calls on the Amsterdam Chief Public Prosecutor to prosecute them because of their incitement to hatred, discrimination, and violence. He also filed a similar complaint against Gretta “the black widow” Duisenberg who was walking next to Van Bommel at the demonstration, and also called for an “intifada”.
Geert Wilders remains resolute and defiant in the face of official repression. According to the PVV website, as translated by VH:
Wilders: “I will never bend, never give up ‘
The latest edition of the weekly gossip magazine Story contains an extended interview with Geert Wilders. The PVV-leader looks ahead to the forthcoming trial and shows himself very combative. “I will never bow,” Wilders assures the interviewer, “never give up.”
“I already have plans for the entire trial. What I am going to do, who I’ll bring forward as witnesses. […] I’m going to fight hard, not only in court but also in Parliament. And if they threaten that they will take me on, that only motivates me even more to go another small step further. To switch to a higher gear.”
He is disappointed in the attitude of many fellow politicians: “I think you should stand for your colleagues who wrongly encountered legal problems. But that is not what they do, because they are scared. Most members of parliament are wimps.”
…Wilders also goes into questions on the consequences for his private life from the strict regime of personal security he has to deal with as a result of death threats.
“That’s why I never talk about my private life, so as not to endanger my wife. I’m already four and a half years into trouble, and that is naturally terrible for her. Of course we can still occasionally go out somewhere for dinner, but then at all surrounding tables are people with earphones.”
“I remember when we had to stay in the prison in Zeist for five months, in a safe house. There I told my wife: go away! Go and do other things, go to your friends, live your life and do things you like to do! You already encounter enough trouble, make sure you have a life.”
Is it all worth it?
“I have a mission. I want to improve the Netherlands. And that mission is catching on. There are people who appreciate that, who vote for the PVV, who are pleased that we are here. That is my motivation. Yes, it’s all worth it.”
Thanks to both translators (and all the others who contribute translations to this blog) for their untiring efforts to make all this important news available to an English-language audience.